Spitfire LF Mk.lXc, MJ250, F/O Desmond Ibbotson, No. 601 Sqn., Italy, Summer, 1944
MJ250 was flown by No. 601 "County of London" Squadron from July 1944. The unit was operating from the airfields at Perugia,
Loreto and Fano at that time. The aircraft was used primarily for dive-bombing operations. MJ250 survived the war but was
scrapped shortly afterward. The MJ250 was regularly flown by F/O Desmond Ibbotson, DFC & Bar. This fighter ace is credited
with 11 confirmed and four probable kills plus five damaged aircraft. He died on November 19, 1944 at the controls of Spitfire
MH614. The camouflage colors of MJ250 were removed except for the upper engine and fuel tank cowling. These parts seem to
be taken from another aircraft which retained the camouflage colors. Note the unit badge on the fin tip.
Spitfire LF Mk.lXc, ML135, P/O Jerry Billing, No. 401 Sqn., RAF Tangmere, United Kingdom, June 7, 1944
Jerry Billing was one of many Canadians serving with RAF. He volunteered in October 1942 to help the Malta defense. After
joining No. 185 Squadron, he fought over the island until March 1943, when he was downed by a Bf 109. Billing was transferred to
No. 401 Squadron in 1944. He downed a Ju 88 bomber and damaged two Fw 190s on June 7, 1944, the second day of the invasion
of Normandy. On July 1, 1944, his Spitfire ML135 was hit by AA fire and Billing belly-landed in no-man's land in France. He managed to get back to the UK with the help of a French family. After WWII, Jerry Billing re-enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force
and became an instructor. In 1951 he joined the Blue Devils, a Canadian aerobatics team flying Vampire jets. Billing left the RCAF
in 1964, becoming DeHavilland test pilot.
Spitfire LF Mk.lXc, ML 135, flown by Jerry Billing, No. 401 Sqn., France, July 1, 1944
Jerry Billing was shot down at the controls of ML135 on July 1, 1944, belly-landing seven miles south of Carentan, France.
The D-Day stripes were left on the undersides only and the female name „Dorothy“ appeared under the windscreen.
INFO Eduard - July 2021